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COLUMBUS, Ohio The 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Synchronized Swimming competition commenced Thursday at the Bill and Mae McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio, showcasing solo, duet and trio semifinal routines from the nation’s top talent. The Buckeyes faired well in each of the three categories, placing all routines in the Top 3 to advance to the finals. The finals for the solo, duet and trio competitions will be held Saturday and will comprise the Top 12 teams from the semifinal contests.

Barbara Nesbitt performed the first routine of the day for Ohio State during the solo competition. Nesbitt was the loan entry in the solo category for the Buckeyes, earning marks of 91.833 to take third and move into the finals.

Ohio State entered the pair of Caitlin Stewart and Michelle Theriault in the duet competition. The duo recorded a score of 92.333, good enough to tie for third place, advancing them to the finals. Also competing in the duet category for the Buckeyes were Jackie Mundy and Brooke Paul. The pair performed an honors routine, which will not count toward the team score, but was good enough to place them among the Top 10 (85.000, 8th).

The Buckeyes doubled their chances for success in the trio competition, showing off two separate routines. Finishing in second place was the combination of Nesbitt, Stewart and Theriault. The trio recorded a score of 93.667 to finish just ahead of teammates Carmen Moraes, Leah Pinette and Deborah Shim, who came up third with marks of 93.167. Both groups advance to the final competition.

The 2008 U.S. Collegiate National Championships will continue Friday at 7:35 a.m. and will begin with the “D” technical competition. The “C”, “B” and “A” technical competitions will follow and the team semifinal will begin at 3:35 p.m.